Step 1: How to Run an Inspiring Connect Group

RESOURCES
1. Blue Book
2. Recommended Materials (see website).
3. Message notes (access online)

Before Connect Group

Pray

  • Pray over your Connect Group members.
  • Ask God to speak to you about what to teach.
  • Get a main thought from God.
  • Pick the study and read through the Bible verses.
  • Highlight your questions.
  • Pray over your study material.

Pick a Study

  • Once the study is picked, show members how to download the Blue Book app. If you’re using message notes, show them how to access the notes online. If you’re using recommended resources from the website, please contact members regarding the purchase of any of these materials. If you are considering using materials, which are not on the recommended list, please talk to the Hub Leader first. Any new material must receive approval beforehand.
    Please note that some materials are not available in Japanese, Chinese etc. There are also some resources, which have online workbooks, making preparation easier, (e.g. Joyce Meyers, John Maxwell, and Rick Warren’s “Purpose Driven Life”).
  • Once you’ve read through the study and scripture verses, choose which questions, scriptures and personal stories you will use. (Keep personal stories to a minimum).

Go inspired

  • Pray as you walk to your Connect Group, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you.
  • Pray God will speak powerfully to each person there.
  • Greet people warmly.

During Connect Group

  • Set a great atmosphere: The most important thing is that you are excited to be there.
  • Be aware of your body language. Smile!
  • Be uplifting. For example: Hi-5’s, round of applause for good news, etc.
  • Ask great questions and help people focus. It is the leaders responsibility to set the direction for the group, and to help members focus their attention. When asking members to share thoughts and feelings, give them timing guidelines and instructions beforehand. For example: “Ok let’s all share our journal, one scripture each, one minutes each.”
  • Be prepared to manage different personalities well.

After Connect Group

  • Report: Use the Planning Center database to complete the weekly reports of your Connect Group attendance (reporting reminders will come to you via email).
  • Please supply a current email where you can receive your Connect Group report request.
  • Please report early in the week (Monday is best).
  • Add new people to the ‘visitors list’ on the database and move them to ‘members list’ if they decide to commit to your Connect Group. Move people back to the ‘visitors list’ if they rarely attend the group.
  • If people want to leave or change to another Connect Group before the semester is finished, please let them leave graciously, and update your database member’s list.
  • Please update the database regularly, especially if there are people who have not attended the Connect Group for more than a month and are no longer in communication with you.

End Of Semester

The end of the semester is a great time to prepare for the new semester.

  • Two weeks before the semester is finished ask Connect Group members if they plan to sign up for the next semester. Please let them know that there’s no obligation to re-sign up, but this information will simply help you update the database in preparation for the next semester’s signup. It will also give you an idea if there are enough members to run the group for the next semester.
  • If there are few or no members signing up for the next semester please discuss this with your Hub leader.

Your Connect Group Runsheet

(45 minutes or less)

1. Quick introductions and sharing good news (5 to 8 mins)

  • If there are new people, let people introduce themselves (keep this brief!)
  • Ask everyone to share something good that happened in the week – big or small – encouraging members to celebrate small victories.

2. Journal sharing (10 – 15 mins)

  • Give time guidelines. For example, 1-2 minutes each, depending on how many people are in the group. The more people, the less time each person will have to speak. If this is the case, you might consider breaking into smaller groups, or moving
  • journal share to your Line group notes, where people can like and post encouraging comments.
  • Encourage people to share what the Word means for them and their life (personal application).

3. Study (15-20 mins)

  • The bulk of our time needs to be spent in the Word of God in, order to help people grow.
  • Get the whole group participating, and don’t let it become a speech by the leader. Engage members by asking them simple questions, selecting some people to read a scripture verse, share their testimony, experience, or thoughts.

4. Prayer (5 mins)

  • Prayer for needs—Find a way to make it work for the size of your group, (divide into smaller groups etc.)
  • Pray for unreached friends.

(Note that these points are interchangeable)